We are jumping into the next episode in our series called: becoming an entrepreneur. If you realized after last week that entrepreneurship is for you, then your next question inevitably is: what business should I start?
Before I go any further realize that we aren’t jumping into “how” to start a business. Once you start to mentally commit to starting a business, our minds go to “Well how do I do it?” Then we panic, get overwhelmed, and give up. No need to do that. We haven’t even gotten to the part where you solve for the “how.” “How” is the very last step. So just hang in with me. We will get there. But let’s do this in the proper order so that we don’t do work we may not need to do in the long run!
Many individuals, and lots of unsuccessful entrepreneurs, start a business based on what they love doing. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it doesn’t. In working with entrepreneurs, I have found that yet again, you must ask yourself 3 questions in order to get to ultimately answer the “what business should I start?” question. Those 3 questions are:
1 . What am I good at?
2. What do I enjoy doing?
3. Of those items on the lists from 1 and 2, what can I make money doing?
The first thing you must accept is that a business exists for one reason, to make money. Things that you enjoy doing that don’t make money are the first thing you must accept is that a business exists for one reason, to make money. Activities that you enjoy doing but that don’t make money are not businesses, they are hobbies. You can have all of the hobbies you want, but don’t expect your hobby to make you money. This is the part of the process where we must take the emotion out of this decision and inject the logic. You can love it and enjoy doing it, but it has to make you money if you want it to be a business.
For example, let’s say I put on list #1 that I love reading, but in reality, I’m not great at grammar or editing. In this instance, I can’t really make money being an editor and starting my own publishing company because I don’t have all of the skills to make the business a viable one. But what if I am great at house cleaning and that makes it onto list #1? What if I get a sense of accomplishment in serving others by cleaning their homes and giving them that peace of mind, which adds this skill to list #2 as well? Can I make money by starting a house cleaning service? I sure can. It achieves #1, 2, and 3. Now I’m in business!
Your challenge this week is to honestly answer the 3 questions and come up with a business idea. A good business idea should minimally be on lists #1 and 3 when you finish.